After watching lots of cooking shows, it seems like there's quite a hierarchy and lots of egos involved when it comes to chefs. Seems like all have to do their time, working their way up the ladder. In these competitions with amazingly talented chefs, the lesser ones (younger, less experience, less time in the business) always have to go first. That was my impression of Neal having to be eliminated before Sang. I know nothing about Neal or Sang, other than what I've seen on the show, but that's the impression I got.